Exporting is the final process in the work of every video editor. This is a responsible task that requires concentration. You need to ensure that all the work is done well; otherwise, you will have to export again and again. Managing your time is crucial for this. Additionally, the larger the project, the longer the export process takes.

Some might say that during export, the editor gets to relax and rest a bit (that’s me). However, when there are deadlines, there is no extra time. It is necessary to complete everything clearly and on time.

The duration of the export depends on the materials and the settings of the export itself. Properly configured settings will not only speed up the process but also preserve the quality of the video. However, the large number of parameters can be intimidating, even for the most experienced editors. And not without reason. Incorrectly set formats and codecs can ruin your video.

It is worth knowing that you will rarely need most of the formats (or in extremely rare cases). Therefore, knowing which formats you will be dealing with is necessary to learn them. Typically, it will be 2 to 5 or 6 formats that share common characteristics, which will make them easier to learn. Understanding the theory will help you master everything in practice more efficiently.

What is exporting in Premiere Pro

I will try to explain simply. The process called export means rendering the timeline into a finished video. That is, all the work that the video editor has done on their timeline: all the effects, layers, video and audio manipulations, color, etc., are converted into one file, in one video, in the finished product.

Different export formats in Premiere Pro

If there is pre-production, production, and post-production, then export refers to the latter. However, I would classify it as a separate process because it does not depend much on the person. Yes, the settings need to be set, but only the editor’s computer is relevant to the process itself. Here everything depends on it and its power. The better the computer, the faster the export will take place. Therefore, a powerful computer with a good processor is preferable. I’m on a MacBook Pro with a 6-core Intel Core i7. It gets a little slower over the years, so I always adjust the time it takes to export.

Exporting a project can take from a few minutes to a few hours. From my own experience, I can say that export can take even several days (it’s like a terrible dream). But basically, this is a permissible logical timeframe.

What does the duration of export depend on 

The time it takes to export a project to Premiere Pro depends on the complexity and length of your video being edited. The longer export process will be if the video is longer, more high-resolution frames, more effects, animations, and layers. 4k or 6k videos will take longer to export than FullHD videos. Also, the exported video in different codecs will take different durations.

How to export video from Premiere Pro

To export your project, simply go to the export window. It can also be done using the hotkeys control+M (Windows)/ command+M (Mac). Next, you need to select the settings parameters in the Format and Preset fields, give the file name, and choose the location of the future video on the computer. This is the main thing that must be configured before starting the export.

Then there are two options: Export Audio and Export Video. Everything is simple here – if there is a checkmark, it is exported; if there is no checkmark, then the video or audio will not be exported.

Additional tabs with settings in export bar

Below, there are additional tabs with settings:

Effects: In this tab, you can make settings for loops, transitions, etc. Carefully! All settings apply to the entire project, so it is better not to click again in this tab.

Video: Here you can make basic settings for the video, encoding settings, bitrate settings, and advanced settings, and indicate that the video is intended for VR. This is an important tab because here you will also need to set the parameters necessary for export. For example, choosing the bitrate sets the quality and size of the video. This is explained briefly.

Audio: Everything is similar to the video tab, only with audio settings. You can choose the format, choose mono or stereo, and set the codec, and audio bitrate.

Then there are three tabs: Multiplexer, Captions, and Publish. Not that they are unnecessary in work, but they are used extremely rarely on individual projects. Therefore, it is not necessary to overload with unnecessary information. There will be a separate conversation about this. The main thing is to know that they exist, and that’s great.

What is the best format for importing videos into Premiere Pro?

Adobe Premiere Pro has all the necessary formatting options you might need to export your video. You just need to know which format you need.

Several formats are most common in the field of video creation. These include H.264 and H.265, Quicktime. And there are also other formats, such as movie formats that are made for cinemas.

How to export video to H.264 in Premiere Pro

Export in H.264 format, you need to open the export bar. In the Format column, select H.264. In the Preset column, choose Match Source – High bitrate or one of High Quality (depending on the resolution of the video).

H.264 export format in Premiere Pro

Next, in the video Encoding Settings, select Profile: High (you need to remove the checkmark for this) and Level: 4.1 or 4.2.

In Bitrate Settings (this is still a video setting), set Bitrate Encoding: VBR, 1 pass. Set the bitrate you want below. I recommend between 5 and 30 (where 5 is lower video quality and smaller size, and 30 is higher video quality and larger file size). 

How to export video to MOV in Premiere Pro

Exporting videos in MOV format is very easy. Open the export window, and select Quicktime in the Format column. Below in the Preset, select the following options: Match Source or one of the Apple ProRes options (variations 422 and 4444).

MOV export format in Premiere Pro

In the video settings, in the Basic Video Settings section, check the box next to Render at Maximum Depth. Below, choose Depth: 8-bpc or 16-bpc, depending on what you need. In most cases, 8-bpc is sufficient.

How to export video to GIF in Premiere Pro

Sometimes a video editor needs to create not only a video but also a GIF as a gift or bonus to the project. And you need to be able to export the file in GIF format. Fortunately, Premiere Pro makes it possible to do just that.

GIF export format in Premiere Pro

All you have to do is open the export window. In the Format column, select Animated GIF. In general, these settings are enough; you can export.

If you need to change the file size or adjust the quality of the GIF, then the Quality parameter is adjusted below in Basic Video Settings. By default, it is set to 100. The lower the number, the lower the quality and file size.

How to export video for different social media platforms in Premiere Pro

Most often, videos are exported specifically for social networks. The field of creating video products has long been established there and is actively developing, and adapting to new trends and formats. Videos have shortened in length, become more creative in content, and new editing techniques have been created to draw the attention of the audience. Only the video export formats from different social media platforms have hardly changed. Among them are MP4 (H.264 and H.265) and MOV (Quicktime), mentioned above. These are simple, lightweight formats that provide good quality and file size within reasonable limits.

Exporting audio file only

Audio export format in Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro also allows you to export only an audio file. This is convenient if, for example, you are creating podcasts and you need only the audio version. Or perhaps you need to export only music or voice for intermediate export. In general, whatever the reason may be, there is always the possibility to export only an audio file in Premiere Pro.

Export using Adobe Media Encoder

You can’t do without additional pleasures. Fortunately, besides exporting directly from Premiere Pro, Adobe provides the option to export your projects in the additional Adobe Media Encoder program. Media Encoder encodes the latest saved version of each sequence in the queue. Its use has several advantages:

Adobe Media Encoder icon in workspace

Batch Export: One advantage of exporting to Adobe Media Encoder is the ability to upload a series of videos there for batch export. Instead of exporting each video in Premiere Pro one by one, you can upload multiple videos at once to Media Encoder and start batch export.

Ability to Change Settings: It’s also convenient that you can adjust the encoding, format, file name, and other export settings in Adobe Media Encoder after uploading the project there. So, if you made a mistake in the export settings and uploaded the project from Premiere Pro to Adobe Media Encoder, you have the opportunity to change these settings in Media Encoder. No need to reload the project from Premiere Pro.

Export Preview Mode: Another nice bonus is that during export, you can see the video being exported. This is useful if problems arise during export that need to be corrected (such as stabilization on video not working, black screen due to a muted clip, etc.). You don’t have to wait for the export to finish, and then review, fix, and export again. Everything can be done in real-time.

Background Mode: This is probably one of the best advantages of Adobe Media Encoder. While exporting projects in it, you can continue working in Premiere Pro. No need to wait for the export to finish to start working on another project. You can do everything simultaneously! The main thing is for the computer to handle the load (this applies to complex, large-scale projects).

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